Earlier this month, Torn Banner Studios unveiled the spiritual successor to their red-blooded team brawler/shooter, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, in the form of Mirage: Arcane Warfare. We knew little else about the game beyond its trailer, but today, Torn Banner has compiled a list of what they deem are the most important takeaways from a community Q&A hosted on Reddit.
In response to questions asked by Reddit users Xxh2p and ia_Flame, Game Designer Rasmus Löfström stated that the first step to establishing a competitive community for Mirage is to work out any “core problems” that might arise during testing. Next among the studio’s priorities is a better spectator experience in through improved visuals, like combat animations. This, Löfström hopes, will make skilled plays and counter-plays much easier for spectators to recognize.
Additionally, Mirage’s maps are currently being balanced around competitive play. Chivalry’s maps, while unique when compared to other first-person games, tended to last too long and disperse tension across the course of a match. Mirage’s action will be more concentrated, especially around map objectives.
Reddit user Etrius asked if any of Chivalry’s combat mechanic quirks would be present in Mirage. Löfström responded that while maneuvers like Reverse Overheads (in which a player turns their back on an opponent, swings his or her weapon, and hits the opponent behind themselves with an overhead attack generated at the tip of the weapon) have been removed, the magic system opens up many, many other doors for combat creativity. Löfström explained that while fun, the Reverse Overhead has been removed due to it being unintuitive to new players.
Xylvion was concerned about being able to defend against spells. All spells can be blocked, as it turns out. While parrying a giant boulder “might not be the healthiest thing” to do, your character will (likely) live after doing so. Spells are not instant; they have cast times, and can be interrupted as if they were a melee attack. Countering attacks is primarily built around dodges and parries, though Löfström notes that Torn Banner has “some more exciting stuff to show in the future.”
Kesby asked what potential game modes lie in store for Mirage. The main game mode, according to Löfström, is a Team Objective (TO) mode. In this mode, players will either be situated in the traditional attack/defend roles, or the attack/defend roles will constantly shift throughout the match. No word has yet been said on the return of Chivalry’s popular Deathmatch modes.
And what competitive brawler/shooter is complete without a little backstory? A lot of them, actually, but Torn Banner is going the extra mile to give its next gorefest just the right amount of mystical flavor. Like Chivalry, two opposing factions – the Bashrahni Emirate and the Azar Cabal – are engaged in a brutal war with one another in the world of Mirage. Programmer Kevin Jay explains that the Bashrahni is the current ruling class of Bashrahn, which is undergoing a breakup of power. The Azar is composed of exiles and individuals who have left the Bashrahni of their own accord. Without revealing too much of the plot, Jay states that the use of Jinnaye is at the heart of the conflict.
The blend of Middle Eastern, Hindu, and Persian motifs present in Mirage represents a departure from the Medieval European norm for both Torn Banner and the Fantasy genre. As Technical Artist Brandon Phoenix notes, “most of our western ideas of magic (from alchemy, to occult societies, to the magi themselves, or the magic inherent in ancient Egyptian culture and the Book of the Dead) come directly from middle eastern culture and literature.” Clarity is the mantra of Mirage’s art team; broad strokes, bold colors, and planar shapes grant Mirage a simple, yet engaging, aesthetic, which Torn Banner has dubbed “filtered realism.”
If a multiplayer game isn’t complete without a story, then it’s definitely not complete without some voice spam. Chivalry was infamous, among other things, for its plethora of extravagant taunts, insults, and battlecries. Senior Brand Manager Alex Hayter is proud to announce that Torn Banner is currently concocting a library of new pejoratives for players to sling at one another. The name-calling and character dialogue will also allow Torn Banner to “tell a wider story about the setting and conflict.”
To the relief of many, Löfström stated that microtransactions “are not on [Torn Banner’s] roadmap” for Mirage. Players will instead unlock items through an “engaging” progression system. Even if Torn Banner implements microtransactions in the future, Löfström reassures us that the progression system will be much more rewarding in the end.
With all that said, learning to play Mirage won’t be easy. CdrBubblesOSpaceweed asked:
Will I be able to be the boy who lived?
To which Hayter responded:
Only if you play well. Until then you’ll be the boy who died over and over again.
Time to hit the books, prospective mages.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare is set to release later in 2016. A demo will be available for play at PAX East in April. Those looking for more in-depth details on Mirage‘s classes and spells can head over to Polygon, where they have posted their reflections on an exclusive preview of the game. You can sign up for its beta here.